Consumers Looking Over Their Shoulders for Bad #FinancialInstitution Behavior

Community financial institutions have an opportunity to reach consumers with two of their bench strengths – personalized service and putting consumers first.

In the aftermath of Wells Fargo’s conundrum, other big financial institutions (FIs) may face an uphill battle when it comes to consumer goodwill. Consumers may very well be looking over their shoulders wondering, “What could my FI be doing to my account without my knowledge?” That skepticism can be hard to shake and may in fact drive more consumers toward community FIs.

With their emphasis on personal service and putting consumers first, community FIs have an opportunity to engage with consumers jaded by larger institutions. The first step though, is to establish a solid bond of trust. To do that, community FIs should: 

  • Be transparent about consumer data usage. With their troves of consumer data, Wells Fargo employees opened thousands of false accounts. By making it clear how they intend to use consumer data, whether it’s for tailored offerings or otherwise, community FIs demonstrate their trustworthiness.
  • Keep consumer data secure. When consumers relinquish data about themselves, they expect it not to be shared with third parties or breached by fraudsters. FIs should establish robust security measures to protect data.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. Settling for the status quo is not something consumers tend to look for in their FIs. Instead, consumers want to feel secure in the knowledge that their FIs are continuously innovating to better serve them.